ATK appears to be on a spending spree. Mere months after the ammunition giant purchased Savage Arms, Reuters is reporting that ATK has now purchased Bushnell — manufacturer of telescopic sights and other optical based shooting accessories. Bushnell had been owned by a private equity firm called MidOcean since 2007 and their decision to sell comes at a time when people like Michael Bloomberg are pressuring such firms to re-examine their portfolios (read: jettison all evil gun companies owned). Or it could be a case of selling at the top of the market. Either way, it looks like an attempt by ATK to build their own rival to Freedom Group’s relatively dominant position in the marketplace which should be interesting – and entertaining – to watch. And, from a consumer’s point of view, it’s excellent news — competition is a good thing . . .
The New York Post said in June that MidOcean Partners received three bids for Bushnell. Private equity firm KKR (KKR) was said to submit an offer, while another bid came in from what was described as an international outdoors company.
Several reports had indicated that MidOcean was seeking at least $1 billion.
According to Reuters, MidOcean’s decision to sell Bushnell was not influenced by any pressure to reconsider an investment in a gun-related company. Cerberus has said it is seeking a buyer for Freedom Group, which includes well-known firearms brands such as Remington, Marlin and Bushmaster.
Great time to buy them! I just got my hands on the super-new Bushnell Throw Down PCL 1-4×24 scope, and it’s a game changer at $250-$300. FFP, sharp daylight-usable illumination, good reticle, excellent dials, good glass, and a slick throw lever. IMHO, blows the competition out of the water for the price. If it’s reliable, and it sure feels solid, it’s going to sell like gangbusters.
Actually, can we do an article about common low end, middle, and high end tactical scopes? (1-4 or 3-9 magnification) There are quire a few choices out there and few sources of good comparative info.
Thirded. Is that a thing?
Consolidation by larger, dominant holding companies or investment groups usually results in less competition (e.g., they often buy out the competition or kill it). They also get rid of the people who know how to make a product and replace them with people who know how to run a business (or think they do). Has anything made by any of the Freedom Group companies gotten BETTER?!!
With rare exception, acquisitions are good for investors, not customers.
They made a dissassemblable AAC Ti-Rant?
That’s all I got.
Excellent points, and ones with which I savagely (no pun intended) concur.
Your last point is the single most important point for employees, customers and investors to understand: Acquisitions and mergers benefit only the investors (and the parasites, the investment banks who proffer their ‘expertise’ to broker the acquisition or merger, float notes or stock into the markets, etc), and actually reduce (not increase) competition.
Also, the other truth in American industry is this: The larger the company, the more stupid the management. It is very, very rare for management of any company over, oh, about 5,000 employees to know their ass from a hot rock about their actual products. The management goes from being people with organic experience to outside “experts” with Harvard or Wharton MBA’s, recruited at great expense by a search firm at the behest of the board of directors. These morons are usually installed with great fanfare, only to be quietly removed a few years later, but with a very nice comp package worth millions.